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High school notebook: Titans keep focus entering regionals

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson Trinity junior Connor Friske concentrates before putting on Hole No. 17 during the Dickinson Trinity Invitational on Monday at Heart River Golf Course.

Neither wind nor rain can shake the Dickinson Trinity boys golf team’s focus.

In fact, Trinity sophomore Willy Jahner said the team has become accustomed to playing in the unfavorable conditions.

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“We’ve only had one good tournament where there was no wind,” he said with a smile. “We should be used to (the wind). I feel pretty comfortable with it and I think other people are comfortable with it. We’ve had a lot of practices with it, so we should be OK.”

The Titans enter the Region 5 Tournament at 9 a.m. today at Bully Pulpit Golf Course with their sights set on reaching the state tournament.

“Our goal is to be in the top three, so far this season we’ve won every tournament except for the East-West Classic,” Trinity head coach Tyler Reisenauer said. “We still got to be focused. It’s a different course and I’m glad it’s out there, because it’s going to be a difficult task for every team.”

Trinity’s top four of Jahner, junior Connor Friske, sophomore Jaret Lee and senior David Pokorny have all played in at least one regional tournament.

Jahner, who is in the No. 1 spot and has already qualified for the state tournament individually, said the experience should bode well for the team.

“We’ve been there and have experience,” he said. “We should just treat it like any other tournament. We just to need to go in and play golf like we know how to play it.”

One new golfer to the regional atmosphere is sophomore Koty Pokorny.

Despite being the first big tournament for the two newcomers to the varsity level, Pokorny said this tournament is extra special, because he gets to golf with his older brother, David.

“It will be my first actual big tournament for varsity golf,” Koty Pokorny said. “It will be fun. I’m looking forward to playing with my older brother too, because I haven’t really gotten to play in a meet with him until this year.”

The top three teams from the regional tournament punch their tickets to the Class B state tournament which begins May 27 at Rose Creek Golf Course in Fargo.

Pokorny said he’s nervous, but it is the good type of nerves.

“We can all play well, if we have the right mindset,” he said. “If we all go out there looking to shoot some good scores and just play golf, we’ll play well.”

Last year, the Titans took runner-up at the state tournament and they want to get back to see if they win a team championship.

“We want to be one of those top three teams,” Jahner said. “We want to get everyone to state, so we can do something at state.”

Midgets baseball team enters key game with Minot The Dickinson High baseball team knows what is at stake when it travels to Minot at 3:30 p.m. today. It’s the No. 1 seed for the West Region Tournament.

Since a 2-1 nonconference loss to Bismarck Century on May 3, the Midgets (19-4) have won nine straight, which included six West Region games.

“We are playing pretty loose right now,” Dickinson head coach Pete Dobitz said. “We talk before the game that it is a game and you’re supposed to go out and have fun playing. From the first pitch thrown, the boys have a lot of intensity and a lot of focus, but there’s still that loose demeanor in the dugout.”

The Midgets’ keys to their winning ways have been pitching, defense and receiving contributions from every player in the lineup.

Dickinson’s pitching staff has a combined earned run average of 1.88. Mark Erickson, a junior, leads the team with a 4-0 record, a 1.33 ERA over 26 1/3 innings and 24 strikeouts. Seniors Mitchell Mehrer and Spencer Murphy both have 3-0 records, while senior Brett Schweitzer has a 2-2 record despite having a 1.98 ERA.

“The fact that we have played better defensively has made our pitchers a little more confident on the mound,” Dobitz said. “They don’t have to overdo it and hit corners and get strikeouts. They know our defense is going to play well behind them.”

The Midgets have four players hitting .400 or better and eight players with averages better than .300. Schweitzer leads Dickinson with a .426 average, five doubles, one home run and 16 RBI. Junior Luke Herauf has a .419 average with five doubles, two triples and 14 RBI. Senior Tanner Hopfauf, who leads the team with 20 RBI, and Mehrer each have .400 averages.

Dickinson senior shortstop Dylan Skabo has a .362 average with team-highs in runs (21) and stolen bases (25). Senior first baseman Cole Anderson had a .352 average with a team-high 19 singles.

“It’s not just the top two or three guys, it’s everybody in the lineup,” Dobitz said about the team’s hitting. “We have a saying in the dugout, ‘Why not be the guy who starts the rally?’ It could the No. 7 batter, No. 9 batter or No. 2 batter.”

Dickinson golfers continually improving The Dickinson High boys golf team has found its midseason stride.

Just in the nick of time too.

The Midgets travel to the Bismarck St. Mary’s Invitational on Friday at Hawktree Golf Course and the West Region individual qualifier tournament on Monday at Riverwood Golf Course in Bismarck.

“We started off a little slower and we were really inconsistent,” Dickinson head coach Sara Berglund said. “We’ve really picked it up a lot. We are starting to figure out our problem areas and we are working on those.”

Though Dickinson is ranked seventh in the West in team scoring averages at 352.2, Berglund isn’t worried. She wants the team to be peaking during the West Region Tournament.

“We are starting to score a lot better and things are going well for us,” Berglund said. “The confidence has come up a lot for us. We are in good position going into these last two tournaments.”